One week after his heinous attack on his now former best friend Chris Jericho, RAW kicks off with WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens sitting on a chair in the middle of the ring with a spotlight shining on him. Owens says that, now that the spotlight is finally on him and him alone, he is going to answer the question that is on everyone’s mind, “why does Kevin Owens think that he’s going to walk out of Fastlane still the WWE Universal Champion?” The champion then addresses his Fastlane opponent, Goldberg, as Owens says that he has “never believed the hype” surrounding Goldberg, saying that Goldberg has “never impressed” him. Owens continues, saying that Goldberg “got lucky” when he beat Brock Lesnar in less than 90 seconds at Survivor Series. The champion then says that he knows that he will walk out of Fastlane as the WWE Universal Champion before saying that, at Fastlane, he doesn’t have to defeat Goldberg, he just has to “outlast” Goldberg. Owens then explains that, the longer a Goldberg match goes, the more the advantage tips in favor of his opponent. Owens then says that their match at Fastlane isn’t going to be one of those “ninety-second sprints” that Goldberg is used to, saying that he just has to “outsmart” Goldberg and, in that department, Goldberg doesn’t even “come close” to him.
The champion then states that he “knows how to play the game” better than “anyone else”. Owens then says that he has waited his entire life to be a champion in WWE and there is “nothing” that he will not do to keep it that way. Owens continues, saying that Goldberg wants to use the WWE Universal Title as a “prop” in his little “superhero fantasy” but he’s not going to let that happen. Owens then says that, at Fastlane, he is going to show Goldberg and everyone else that “superheroes don’t exist”. The champion then stands up, saying that Goldberg can bark “you’re next” at him all he wants because, as far as he’s concerned, Goldberg is “nothing”. Kevin Owens then says “as far as Chris Jericho goes”, but the WWE Universal Champion then drops the microphone before leaving the ring, refusing to explain his actions from last week.
With the opportunity to challenge Gallows & Anderson for the RAW Tag Team Titles at Fastlane on the line, the opening match of the night would see Enzo & Big Cass face former champions Cesaro & Sheamus with the winner becoming the new #1 Contenders for the RAW Tag Team Titles. In the end, it was Big Cass hitting Cesaro with the East River Crossing, pinning Cesaro to pick up the win to become the new #1 Contenders for the RAW Tag Team Titles at Fastlane. After the match, Enzo Amore would decide to further mock Cesaro & Sheamus and Sheamus would respond by leveling Enzo with the Brogue Kick on the outside! Big Cass then rushes down to ringside to check on his tag partner as Cesaro & Sheamus stand in the ring.
Backstage, WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens is on his way out of the arena before he’s stopped by RAW General Manager Mick Foley. The GM informs Kevin Owens that he has a match tonight against Sami Zayn before the champion tells Foley that he needs to be careful because he’ll have more guys on the injured list then on the active roster if he keeps putting them up against him.
After Akira Tozawa refused to be mentored by The Brian Kendrick, the two Cruiserweights were scheduled to square off on RAW as Akira Tozawa was set to go one-on-one with The Brian Kendrick. However, before the match could begin, Kendrick would attack Tozawa, wrenching Tozawa’s neck over an exposed steel part of the turnbuckle before locking in the Captain’s Hook on Akira. The referee is then finally able to break it up before The Brian Kendrick storms to the backstage area.
In a rematch from last week’s RAW, Roman Reigns would face RAW Tag Team Champions Gallows & Anderson in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match. During the match, Luke Gallows would bring a steel chair into the ring, but Gallows would not get a chance to use it as Roman Reigns would knock down both of the RAW Tag Team Champions. Roman then uses the steel chair on Karl Anderson, ending the match by disqualification. Reigns then delivers a chair shot to the back of Luke Gallows before Roman gets the better of Anderson, knocking Anderson out of the ring. Reigns then drops Luke Gallows with the Superman Punch before catching Karl Anderson in mid-air with a huge Spear! Gallows & Anderson then regroup on the outside as Roman Reigns stands tall, having single-handedly laid waste to the RAW Tag Team Champions once again.
The hosts of this year’s WrestleMania were in action on RAW as The New Day’s Big E & Kofi Kingston, with Xavier Woods in their corner, would face Rusev & Jinder Mahal, with Lana in their corner. In the end, it was Big E & Kofi Kingston hitting Jinder Mahal with the Midnight Hour with Kofi pinning Jinder to pick up the win.
RAW would then host the official contract signing for the Cruiserweight Title match between champion Neville and challenger “Gentleman” Jack Gallagher at Fastlane with Austin Aries serving as the mediator. Before the champion comes out, challenger Jack Gallagher would call Neville “delusional” before signing his part of the contract and taking a seat. Cruiserweight Champion Neville then makes his way to the ring as Neville would sign the contract before trying to leave the ring. However, Gallagher would halt Neville, inviting his fellow countryman to have some “tea and biscuits”. Neville says that it’s “embarrassing” that Jack Gallagher is what Americans think people from England are like. The champion then calls Gallagher a “cartoon” and a “stereotype”, saying that Gallagher doesn’t really “exist”.
Neville continues, saying that real Englishmen look like him, saying they’re “ugly” and “rough around the edges”. Neville then says that Jack Gallagher is what the fans wanted him to be, saying that the fans aren’t laughing “with” Gallagher, they’re laughing “at” him, but after Fastlane, he will be the only one who is laughing. Gallagher says that this is who he is and this is how he was raised, telling Neville that Neville thinks he is a “king” and that it makes him better than everyone else and that is something he will “not stand for”. Neville then flips the table over before asking Gallagher what he’s going to do about it with the champion shoving Gallagher. The challenger responds by dropping Neville with a headbutt before keeping Neville at bay with his umbrella, leaving Jack Gallagher standing tall.
The dominant Nia Jax was in action on RAW as Nia Jax would go one-on-one with local competitor Sarah Pierce. Naturally, Nia Jax would make quick work of the local competitor, hitting Sarah Piece with a Samoan Drop and pinning Pierce for the win. After the match, Nia Jax is interviewed about the “controversy” surrounding the RAW Women’s Title match last week with Nia saying that the only “controversy” she sees is how she hasn’t gotten her shot at the RAW Women’s Championship. Nia then says that she would break Sasha Banks’ crutch in half and shove it down the throats of both Sasha Banks and Bayley. Nia then concludes by saying that she’s putting the RAW Women’s Champion on notice.
After Sasha Banks used her crutch to assist her in winning the RAW Women’s Title last week, new RAW Women’s Champion Bayley would appear on RAW to address the controversy surrounding her title win. The California native says that her and her friends had some big dreams growing up and her dream was to stand in a WWE ring and have the honor of calling herself a champion. The new champion then says that the first person she called after she won the RAW Women’s Title last week was her father before addressing her dad in the crowd, telling her father that she “did it”. Bayley then says that Charlotte Flair has been trying to “make up some excuse” for losing the title last week, telling the former champion to “face the facts” because she is the new RAW Women’s Champion.
Bayley is then interrupted by RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon as Stephanie makes her way to the ring, shaking the hand of the new champion. Stephanie asks if Bayley envisioned being in the main event of RAW winning the RAW Women’s Title before asking if Bayley envisioned almost losing the title match only for outside interference to give her a “tainted victory”. The RAW Commissioner then asks if Bayley won the title or if Sasha Banks won it for her, asking if Bayley is willing to “throw it all away” and throw away who she is to hold a championship that she “didn’t really earn”. Stephanie continues, saying that the Bayley that she knows would “do the right thing” and relinquish the RAW Women’s Championship! Clearly troubled, Bayley takes the RAW Women’s Title belt off as Stephanie pressures Bayley, telling Bayley to “stand for something more” than having a championship for the “wrong reasons”. Stephanie then tells Bayley that she should earn the championship for the “right reasons”.
As Bayley seems like she is about to hand the title over to Stephanie McMahon, Sasha Banks makes her way to the ring as Stephanie says that Bayley can’t seem to accomplish anything without Sasha getting involved. Stephanie then says that Sasha must think that Bayley is some kind of “charity case” before Sasha tells Bayley not to listen to this “garbage”. Sasha then says that Bayley is like a “sister” to her and she’s not going to let Bayley give up everything that she’s worked for before urging Bayley to listen to the fans and listen to her dad. “The Boss” then asks the crowd if Bayley should give up the title before Stephanie asks if Sasha is out there to support Bayley or if Sasha is out there because Sasha can’t beat Charlotte Flair and Sasha knows she can beat Bayley. Sasha then gets in Stephanie’s face, but Bayley keeps Sasha back before saying that Stephanie is right, saying that the championship means everything to her and the title is bigger than her, bigger than Sasha, and bigger than Charlotte.
Bayley then says that she didn’t work her entire life to be a champion just to have it look like it was “handed” to her. Bayley continues, saying that the title should represent “happiness and competition” and not “controversy”. Bayley then says that there is only “one answer” before declaring “hell no” she’s not going to give up the RAW Women’s Title! Bayley then says that she pinned Charlotte in the middle of the ring last week for the third time and she didn’t win the title because of Sasha Banks, she won it because of all the fans. Bayley continues, saying that she will defend the RAW Women’s Title “any time and any place” for the fans and there is “nothing” that anyone can do about it.
Bayley and Sasha then embrace before former champion Charlotte Flair makes her way down the ramp. Charlotte then tells Bayley that she doesn’t want Bayley to give up the RAW Women’s Title because she wants to take it, saying that she is invoking her rematch clause to face Bayley for the RAW Women’s Title at Fastlane. Sasha then cuts Charlotte off, saying that she is tired of hearing Charlotte run her mouth and Bayley is going to prove at Fastlane that Charlotte is “no Queen”. Sasha then challenges Charlotte Flair to a one-on-one match right here tonight. Charlotte then tells Sasha that Sasha isn’t going to need a crutch after tonight because she is going to put Sasha in a “wheelchair forever”. Stephanie then follows this up by making the match official and it will start right now.
A rivalry would be renewed on RAW as an impromptu match would see “The Boss” Sasha Banks go one-on-one with former champion Charlotte Flair with RAW Women’s Champion Bayley a guest on commentary. During the match, Dana Brooke would make her way down to ringside, but Bayley would take Dana down from behind to keep the protégé from getting involved. The brawl on the outside would distract Charlotte long enough for Sasha Banks to take advantage as “The Boss” locks in the Bank Statement on Charlotte Flair, making Charlotte tap out to pick up the win.
The announcement was made during RAW that the latest legend who will be inducted into this year’s WWE Hall of Fame will be one of the most popular and charismatic competitors in the history of WCW as former three-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion Diamond Dallas Page will join Kurt Angle, The Rock N’ Roll Express, and Theodore Long as inductees into the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame on March 31 in Orlando.
Following his vicious assault on former best friend Chris Jericho last week, Kevin Owens would face a man who knows what it’s like to be betrayed by Owens as the WWE Universal Champion was set to go one-on-one with Sami Zayn in a non-title match on RAW. However, as Sami Zayn makes his way down the ramp, he is ambushed by Samoa Joe as “The Destroyer” sends Sami into the ring post before hammering Zayn and sending Sami into the ring post a second time. As Kevin Owens watches the proceedings, Samoa Joe would punish Sami with more right hands before sending Zayn into the ring post a third time, squashing Sami with a senton on the outside! Samoa Joe then tosses Sami Zayn into the ring as the referee checks on Zayn with Sami insists that the match gets underway. As soon as the bell rings, Kevin Owens would immediately show no mercy towards Sami Zayn, repeatedly squashing Sami Zayn in the corner before planting Sami Zayn with the Pop-Up Powerbomb, pinning Sami for the one-sided win.
In a special backstage interview, Michael Cole would interview “The Beast” Brock Lesnar and his advocate Paul Heyman about his match against Goldberg at WrestleMania. Cole begins to ask Lesnar about his match against Goldberg at WrestleMania as well as the possibility of that match being for the WWE Universal Championship if Goldberg wins the title at Fastlane. However, Paul Heyman interrupts Cole, advising Cole to lower his tone to avoid further angering Brock Lesnar. Heyman then says that there are those who say that the WWE Universal Title match between Kevin Owens and Goldberg at Fastlane has such “historical significance” that it affects Brock Lesnar’s “prominence” at WrestleMania, saying that Brock disagrees.
This is when Lesnar would get out of his seat, scaring off Michael Cole before sitting in Cole’s seat and staring directly into the camera. As Brock does this, Paul Heyman says that Kevin Owens should be recognized as the “most violent title holder” in WWE before saying that he thinks that Kevin Owens is prepared to “shock the world” at Fastlane and he thinks that Owens has a shot at entering WrestleMania as the WWE Universal Champion. Heyman continues, saying that Brock “disagrees” before saying that, if Goldberg hits a Spear and a Jackhammer on Kevin Owens at Fastlane, then Goldberg will be walking into WrestleMania as the WWE Universal Champion. The advocate then says that, if Goldberg is the champion at WrestleMania, then the championship will be another thing that Lesnar will take away from Goldberg in addition to his “health” and his “career” and that is something that Brock “agrees” on, which puts a sinister smile on Brock’s face.
Then it was time for a main event that would be massive in size as “The Monster Among Men” would face his largest adversary to date as Braun Strowman would go one-on-one with “The Giant” Big Show. Throughout the match, Braun Strowman would show his quickness as well as his power, getting the better of Big Show, but “The Giant” was able to suplex Strowman to gain the advantage. Big Show would then size Braun Strowman up, delivering a big chokeslam to “The Monster Among Men”, but Braun is able to kick out! Big Show then puts Braun Strowman on the top rope before climbing up the second rope with Big Show trying for a superplex, but Braun is able to battle back. Strowman then leaps off of the second rope, but Big Show catches “The Monster Among Men” out of mid-air with the Knockout Punch, but Braun kicks out again! Big Show then climbs to the second rope for a big splash to Braun Strowman, but Braun moves out of the way before struggling to lift his larger opponent, managing to get Big Show up on his shoulder before delivering his patented running powerslam, but Big Show kicks out! Braun then sizes Big Show up before hitting the running powerslam a second time, this time keeping Big Show down for the three-count to pick up a hard-fought victory.
However, as soon as the match was over, Roman Reigns would make a beeline to the ring for a piece of his Fastlane opponent. Roman is then able to hobble the weakened Strowman with the Superman Punch before delivering a second Superman Punch that knocks Braun off of his feet. Roman then sizes Strowman up for the Spear, but Braun is able to rebound with a huge dropkick to Reigns! Braun then lifts Roman Reigns up, drilling Reigns with the running powerslam, leaving Roman laid out in the middle of the ring once again. Strowman then leaves the ring, looking back to grin at his handiwork as it becomes apparent to Braun Strowman that Roman Reigns is no match for “The Monster Among Men”.
What did you think of this week’s RAW? Post your comments in the box below.